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10 creative and alternative words people use to express frustration without swearing

In life's tough moments, we feel inclined to swear, but social decorum often requires us to come up with cleaner expressions to vent it out.

10 creative and alternative words people use to express frustration without swearing
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Liza Summer

Tactful censorship

Representative Image Source: Pexels | SHVETS production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | SHVETS production

Life really gives us challenging situations and in those times, we feel the need to express our frustration in expletive language. While doing so may be cathartic, the situation need not be conducive enough to use such words, especially in most social settings. In such situations, we are forced to come up with alternative terms to express our frustration without offending anybody. u/dulaxi asked the community what words they used as a replacement for profane words. Here are 10 of the funniest answers that people had to share.

1. Kate 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Craig Adderley
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Craig Adderley

"Kate." Me and a friend were at a subway years ago when a mom and daughter were lined up and the daughter was being an absolute brat and running around, the mom took her arm and through gritted teeth and so much venom said her name so harshly that it stuck with me and my friend who was watching, whenever we got frustrated or angry at work we would say kate, there's something about that K sound when you're angry that just feels good. u/thatconverseguy. I lived through a very similar situation except it was at Walmart and the quote was “What are you doing Kate??” and I think it was coming from her dad. Absolutely hilarious and my friends and I would quote it all the time. u/DryContract8916

2. Goodness gracious

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

I like to say “Goodness gracious." I actually used to run petting zoo events with small animals and I did a lot of birthday parties for little kids. I was running an event one time where a specific chicken was being super broody and finicky. At one point I said “Goodness gracious, Mary Poopins," and 5 minutes later, a child who had overheard me say it, said the exact same thing while Mary Poopins was in his lap. It was one of the most precious experiences in my life. u/AnarchicalFrog

3. Curse word

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

I often just say "Curse word! Vile, offensive curse word!" It tends to get a laugh if anyone hears me, especially since I say it in the exact tone you'd use to say an actual vile, offensive curse word. u/seriouslaser. My grandmother just yells, "Bad Words! Bad Words!" lol but she'll swear in French that's specific to Quebec (passed down from her grandmother) and it comes in the same string of words every time, so we'll say it along with her. u/madamerimbaud

4. Mother father freaking

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

I am an interior house painter, after 2 days in someone’s house I become part of the house. “Oh for crying out loud” is the only one I use. Under my breath, I say motherfather freaking what in the shame is this pile of feathers. I’m old (in my early, mid and late 50’s I’m 64) and I know every swear, compound swear and many wonderfully colorful uses that start with F. But I won’t lose a client because of my mouth! u/Pegs442. There you go. You know the value of your words. u/NonnasLearning27

5. What the flip

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

I'm a huge curse user, I have a pretty filthy mouth tbh. but I also have an elementary-aged kid with my husband lol, and it can be hard to curb beyond the lesser curses - we let the occasional damn, a**, Jesus Christ/what the hell (the last two we don't actually consider curses but teach our son some people don't like them and it's considered impolite lmao). But I've grown really fond of using 'flipflop,' IE: 'what the flip!/I can't get the flip-flopping thing to work!' also the classic 'god dangit' works lmao. 'Holy guacamole' comes into play. I'm really fond of also just taking whatever random word comes to mind or is in front of me and it both makes me laugh and deescalates any anger and urge to say the word I really wanna say. u/extraterrestrial

6. Jeez Louise 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko

I work at a Christian facility, even though I’m a non-believer, so instead of saying “Jesus Christ!” when I get frustrated like I used to, I now say “Jeez Louise”. Does that count? "Darn it", instead of "Damn it" is another one. Also, "Holy Guacamole!" And my personal favorite, "Merlin’s Beard!" u/SpecialistAd4244. These are good ones! And respect is a powerful thing. I think cussing is a habit in most cases and using alternatives 8 hours a day can go a long way in breaking the chain. Kudos to you! u/NonnasLearning27

7. Oh foot 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | MART PRODUCTION
Representative Image Source: Pexels | MART PRODUCTION

I don't really ever curse (not comfortable with it/doing it most of the time), so I have a small collection: "Oof." "Oh foot" or "Foot" (honestly no idea why or when this started lol, but it works because I frequently hit my foot or feet on things (apparently that's yet another thing related to having adhd lol, and is funny). "Shizzle," I blame Rick Riordan for this one. "Shoot."

"Oh no."  "Helk," my friend accidentally said this once when they were trying to say both hell and heck, so it's a word we both say now. That started around 4 years ago, maybe a little bit closer to 5 years ago. "When it's too bad for heck but not bad enough for hell" is our explanation lol. u/GoldieDoggy

8. Clustercuss

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

I have many. Here is a short list: "Clustercuss" means "Clusterf**k" and fartfight means "s***show," they convey the same thing but have varying degrees of severity. An exuberant "thumbs up" at another driver who "isn't aware of their situation or surroundings " equals a "middle finger/F-you", and the always and ever popular "Thank you! I hope you have the day you deserve" in a tone sweet as warm honey, means "I hope your day is extremely terrible and you feel and understand why the entire time." u/FartsackMcGillicutty

9. Jeepers

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

Jeepers! I used to be good friends with a super rich guy who was really really uptight about swearing and would say this. We were an odd couple, I am perpetually broke, dyed hair weirdo who is dressed in old clothes all the time, and he was super proper and posh, upright and always looked like he stepped out of a GQ magazine. It always made me laugh to see this very well-dressed and dapper guy in his super fancy house say 'jeepers' as his swear word of choice, whereas I used to swear like it was running out of fashion. Eventually, I picked it up as sort of a joke, but now I say it all the time. u/SookHe

10. What the heckles

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

I say "What the heckles!" Others seem to find it funny. Bonus points if you say "What the sam heckles!" I used to have a really bad mouth every other word the eff bomb and an older gentleman told me one day no one was ever offended by a lack of cursing and it made me think. I don't want to offend people because I'm too lazy to come up with a better word than eff. So here we are, 3 years, barely any cursing but a good "What the heckles!" expresses my botheredness by situations. u/Appropriate_Ratio835

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